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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 08/26/15

Guests: Wendy Sherman, Jonathan Alter, April Ryan, Austan Goolsbee, JeffreyMarks, Isabella Gutierrez, Mohamed Hassan

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Side by side, hand in hand -- anniversary of bloody Sunday, she was back at the bridge with President Barack Obama, side by side, hand in hand. She was -- her in the wheelchair there, making their way across the bridge and the great Amelia Boynton died today. The White House released a statement praising her quiet heroism. She died today at the age of 104. She was at the White House when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, it`s something that might have never happened without her. Amelia Boynton Robinson was already 54 years old when she helped organize the Selma March in which she almost lost her life. She was 104 years old today when she passed. Gone today, a hard life well lived. That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Thanks Rachel -- MADDOW: Thanks. O`DONNELL: The father of the television reporter murdered on live TV this morning just issued a powerful statement about the need for gun control legislation. But first, one of the key negotiators of the Iran nuclear deal will join us. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER, TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: Look at the deal we have with Iran. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It reflects the best of American foreign policy. RICK PERRY, FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: The single worst thing that the President has done. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a national embarrassment. TRUMP: Countries are going to line up for nukes. OBAMA: A deal that is going to make sure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon. TRUMP: You ever see a deal take so long to do? The deal has been going on forever. SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Ripped to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal. OBAMA: This historic diplomatic breakthrough. TRUMP: We should have doubled and tripled up the sanctions and negotiated from strength. PERRY: We negotiate from a position of weakness. CRUZ: Stop financing radical Islam and terrorism! OBAMA: You know rely(ph) on bluster or bravado. CRUZ: They have Kerry that goes on a bicycle races, he falls, he breaks his leg. This is their chief negotiator -- he is walking and they`re looking at him like what a schmuck. (LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exports across the board have lined up to support it. OBAMA: We focus on strong principle diplomacy, showing once again to the entire world what American leadership really means. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: When Secretary of State John Kerry led the United States and five other countries to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, there was probably no one in the room wondering what Donald Trump would say about the deal. They all knew there would be critics of the deal. The American negotiating team was certainly concerned about what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would say, also what Senator John McCain would say and other prominent Washington critics of the negotiating effort. But now, there is no critic of the deal with a bigger microphone than the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Look at the deal we have with Iran. Look at this deal. It is going to -- in my opinion, lead to an arms race, the likes of which there has never been. Countries are going to line up for nukes. You`re going to have perhaps nuclear proliferation. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That was Donald Trump in Iowa last night. Today, in the "Washington Post", retired General David Petraeus, the former CIA director in the Obama administration and Dennis Ross, a former special assistant to President Obama for the Middle East, co-authored an Op-ed piece supporting the deal. Saying, "there can be little doubt that a deal leaves us far better off. We also don`t believe that if Congress blocks the deal, a better one is going to be negotiated." The support of General Petraeus comes just weeks before a Congressional vote on the deal. Twenty nine Democratic Senators have announced their support for the deal, only two Democratic Senators have announced their oppositions. Senator Schumer of New York and Senator Menendez of New Jersey. Fifteen Democratic senators are undecided. The President needs only five of them to support the deal and sustain his veto if Congress votes against the deal. Joining us now is one of the key negotiators who was at Secretary Kerry`s side throughout the process, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman. Ambassador Sherman, thank you very much for joining us tonight. WENDY SHERMAN, UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Thank you for having me, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: It must come as something of a surprise to you that you are now in a position of having to respond to criticisms being offered by Donald Trump who clearly now has a bigger microphone than any of the Republicans in Washington who are arguing against this deal. I wanted to play something that Donald Trump said last night because it`s an echo, it`s the Trump version of what you`ve heard from many Republican senate critics about the inspection periods and the possible delays involved. Let`s listen to the way Donald Trump put it last night. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We have a 24-day wait period, so if we think they`re doing nuclear, we have to wait 24 days. But see, that`s not the worst part. The worst part is, the clock doesn`t start ticking, it could be months, we have to notify, it is a whole process. I mean, they could build, shoot and build a couple of more shoots and by that time, we still wouldn`t be in there checking. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Your response Ambassador Sherman. SHERMAN: Well, my response is, I hope that Mr. Trump has read the agreement because if he has, then he`d understand that what he said is actually not accurate. Indeed, the International Atomic Energy Agency which will do the verification of this agreement, an agreement that is based on verification monitoring, not based on trust, can ask for access to any site that it is suspicious of with 24 hour`s notice. And if Iran under the protocols in the international community is allowed to have a conversation with Iran about whether they can go. Because it might be to a military site, same kind of conversation we or any other country might be able to have with the IAEA in every other country in the world, that conversation can go on forever. In this agreement, we negotiated a special access agreement. Which means that the IAEA and Iran can only have that debate for 14 days, after which there will be a vote among the P5 Plus 1 in Iran. And if a majority rules and I suspect it will with the United States, now European partners, then Iran must give access within three days. So, it could be as quickly as 24 hours, it could be at the most 24 days and as Secretary Ernest Moniz of the Department of Energy has said, you can`t hide nuclear material for 24 days or 24 months, probably for 24 years, it`s hard to get rid of it. O`DONNELL: And I`d like to raise another point that Donald Trump mentioned last night because it`s a fairly obscure point. But there was an "Ap" report indicating that there would be a form of self inspection that Iran would be granted in one particular location. The "Ap" since scrubbed that report. They erased to the point where you cannot find anywhere some of the paragraphs that were contained in that report. They`ve never issued a formal correction about it, but Donald Trump seized on that and this is the way he referred to it last night. Let`s listen to that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We just found out that they`re going to do -- in the most important section, they`re going to do their own inspections. Did you hear this? Iran is going to do their own inspections. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Could you clarify that point for us ambassador? SHERMAN: Well, again, Lawrence, that`s just not true. The International Atomic Energy would never allow Iran to do a self inspection. I think Mr. Trump is referring to Parchin which has to do with Iran`s past. And this is a project that the IAEA has had under way for four years. They use the leverage of this negotiation to finally get access that they want to that site. They have worked out a technical arrangement that they think will get them the information they need. We have great faith and confidence in the International Atomic Energy Agency, the entire world does. And so again, Mr. Trump just doesn`t have the facts. O`DONNELL: There`s another element to the deal which frees up certain financial resources that will be available to Iran over time. And that`s an issue that`s been attacked by many critics of the deal. Let`s listen to how Benjamin Netanyahu phrased it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL: This cash bonanza will fuel Iran`s terrorism worldwide, its aggression in the region and its efforts to destroy Israel, which are ongoing. Amazingly, this bad deal does not require Iran to cease its aggressive behavior in any way. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Ambassador Sherman, your reaction to that. SHERMAN: Well, look, I understand all of the concern and all of the anxiety about Iran`s destabilizing activities in the region. I share those, the President does, Secretary Kerry does, but no deal can carry all of the problems that we face with Iran. The real objective of this deal was to make sure that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon. Because if Iran had a nuclear weapon, their ability to wreak more havoc in the region would just be unthinkable. And their ability to deter our efforts and our efforts with Israel and with our Gulf partners to stop their nefarious activities would be nearly impossible. So, I share the concern but the President of the United States believes, Secretary Kerry believes, I believe that if we don`t get the nuclear weapon issue resolved, then we`re not going to be able to get all of these other issues resolved. And all of our sanctions against Iran`s actions of state sponsorship of terrorism, their abuses of human rights, their arms sales, all of these things remain on the books. What we are talking about in this deal is once they take all the nuclear steps to severely limit their program, to invite the IAEA in, so that they can see anything they want to see to verify what they`re doing. To make sure they cannot acquire nuclear weapon, and they`ve made that commitment forever, not just for 15 years or 20 years or 10 years, but forever is that commitment. Then that`s what we have to be focused on in this deal, it just can`t carry the weight of all these other things. But we have plenty of strategies, plenty of tools and plenty of work we`re doing with Israel and our Gulf partners to deal with the other problems which are real. O`DONNELL: We have a Quinnipiac poll that indicates that 86 percent of Republicans oppose the deal, which is an indication of what`s happening in the Senate. For example where you don`t have any Republicans supporting it. But it`s also an indicator of how Donald Trump as vague as his statements may be and as inaccurate as some of them may be, it`s clearly mirroring the Republican voter out there. And I want to go back to another point raised by General Petraeus in the Op-ed piece today where he endorses the deal. He says, we`re better off with this deal than without it. But there are two things that concern him. One, he would like the President to overtly and clearly announce that a violation of the deal would absolutely provoke an American military response. And then he would also like the administration to provide Israel with an extra powerful bunker-busting bomb, more than anything Israel is in possession of now. What`s your reaction to those two suggestions? SHERMAN: Well, my reaction is that the United States has an absolutely indivisible bond with Israel. We will do everything we have -- can do to have Israel`s back. We always have. President Obama has provided more security assistance to Israel than any other president, and he, in fact, developed the weapon that Dave Petraeus mentioned. He not only developed it, commissioned it, paid for it but deployed it, so that it`s ready. And the President has been quite declarative that if in fact, he needs to take military action he will. But I think -- you know, I had a reporter ask me today, what is in this deal for the average person? Why should they care when they care about their wages, they care about their kids education, they care about their future, they care about security on the streets, not necessarily first and foremost security in the world? And what I said is, if Iran has a nuclear weapon that`s a threat to the United States, that`s a threat to Israel, that`s a threat to the Gulf, that`s a threat to the world. And that means that American men and women who might be some of those families or friends of some of those families are going to have to go off and fight a very difficult, complicated and explosive war. We will use up all of our blood and treasure for that when we could be increasing wages, when we could be ensuring jobs, good educations and getting crime off our street. So, I think the President has got the right priority, let`s ensure that Iran can`t ever have a nuclear weapon. Let`s have the option, all of the options on the table if Iran doesn`t comply, we`ll know if they don`t. This is not about trust, but let`s see if we can give peace a chance, diplomacy a chance first. If it doesn`t work -- because we`ve done this with six other countries. And the U.N. Security Council has endorsed it unanimously. We will have the world on our side to take whatever other action is needed, but I think the American people prefer peace over war if a solution can be found. O`DONNELL: Ambassador Wendy Sherman, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it. SHERMAN: Thank you, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Coming up, the father of the reporter killed on live TV this morning just issued a passionate plea for gun control legislation. And later, the general manager of that TV station will join us to remember the friends they lost today. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: After Donald Trump had "Univision" and "Fusion" host Jorge Ramos removed from the press conference last night. Jorge Ramos came face- to-face with a Trump supporter in the hallway. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very rude, it`s not about you. JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION: It`s not about both of -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of my country. Get out! RAMOS: This is not -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not about you -- RAMOS: I`m a -- I`m a U.S. citizen too -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, whatever, no, "Univision", no. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Up next, the father of one of the victims of the Virginia shooting, the reporter who was shot on live television this morning says tonight that he wants new gun laws. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: In the last hour, the father of that Virginia television reporter who was murdered on live TV this morning appeared on "Fox News". He discussed his daughter`s life. He discussed the horrors of what he has been through today and at the end of that discussion with Megyn Kelly, he said this -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANDY PARKER, FATHER OF ALISON PARKER: Everybody that she touched loved her, and she loved everybody back. And you know, I`m not going to let this issue drop. This is, you know -- we`ve got to do something about crazy people getting guns. And on -- you know -- and the problem that you guys have is that -- and I know it`s the news business, isn`t it? This is a big story, but next week, it isn`t going to be a story anymore and everybody`s going to forget it. But you mark my words, my mission in life and I talked to the governor today, he called me and he said -- and I told him -- I said, I`m going to do something and whatever it takes to get gun legislation to shame people, to shame legislators into doing something about closing loopholes and background checks and making sure crazy people don`t get guns. And he said, you go, I`m right there with you. So, you know, this is not the last you`ve heard of me, I got to -- this is something that is Alison`s legacy that I want to make happen. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, April Ryan, White House correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief for "American Urban Radio Networks", she is the author of the book "The Presidency in Black and White". Also with us, Austan Goolsbee, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors to President Obama. He is currently a professor of economics at the University of Chicago. And here in New York with us, Jonathon Alter, Msnbc political analyst and columnist for "The Daily Beast". Jonathan, it had been a day in which various politicians from Hillary Clinton, Terry McAuliffe made comments about this. They came in for some criticism on "Fox News" where there`s always an objection to raising anything about possible legislation on the day -- the inevitable continue days of coverage that we have of these kinds of events. And then on "Fox News" tonight, that dramatic moment, something that is not a very welcome message on that network that we have to do something legislatively. JONATHAN ALTER, COLUMNIST, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, you know, we have seen this before -- I hate to say it. You know, after these terrible tragedies where family members come forward and pledge to do this. The point is, you have to have a tenacity about it. Political struggle, change in this country is hard and it`s a long slog. And the problem is that, the people who are in favor of common sense gun control, most of them don`t have the passion that those loved ones do about the issue. And they have to develop the passion if this is going to change. And it requires movement building. It requires people who have not had somebody in their family who`s been a victim of gun violence to decide, you know what? I`m going to pitch in. I`m going to lobby. I`m going to make this important. And when that starts to happen, then change is possible. O`DONNELL: April Ryan, Andy Parker, who we just heard on "Fox News" and this -- the worst imaginable day of his life or any parents life said that he wants to shame legislators into doing this. That`s what he told Megyn Kelly. Closing loopholes and background checks, making sure crazy people don`t get guns. That seems like something that there should be a unanimous agreement on. APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT & WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO: Well, the way we understood it, there was an agreement between Democrats and Republicans on it, but it just wasn`t acted upon. And one of the main reasons was because of a powerful gun lobby called the NRA. And I just understand that this is happening, we have seen this happen in Columbine. We`ve seen this happen with the little school children. We`ve seen this happen so many times, over and over again. We saw it most recently I guess in Roanoke, I mean, just before that we saw that -- the situation in Charleston. And it happens over and over again. And the calls go out, but we`re not hearing the ground swell that we would think would be happening, particularly on Capitol Hill and Republicans who are listening to the powerful gun lobby of the NRA. O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Chris Hurst said tonight. He is actually the boyfriend of Alison Parker who was murdered this morning. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRIS HURST, FRIEND OF ALISON PARKER: I think we need to be very careful with how we identify this man and we don`t label him and then discriminate against everybody else who has a mental illness in this country. Who needs access to services, but clearly something went wrong here between him leaving our station and being able to purchase a gun and commit a premeditated act. What happened behind us was clearly wrong. But there had been ample time beforehand where many other things went wrong, those need to be addressed. Not any of the allegations he is saying about the love of my life. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Austan Goolsbee, there is -- this becomes political no matter how much people try to keep the politics out of this, especially in the first day of coverage. There is a -- there`s -- some people have this feeling that there should not be any political references to it, but we saw the father of this murdered reporter tonight going straight to that. AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: Yes, I mean, God, your heart is just broken for this -- for this father. I mean, for the day that this is going to happen and then you`re going to be thrust into the national spotlight in that way. I guess I would -- my only feeling on this is, this has happened so many times, you know, we`re kind of stuck in this -- in this rut. We know what the advocates of gun control are going to say, we ought to pass these laws and the opponents are going to say, no, we`re going to oppose it. I wonder if the approach that he -- that the father is advocating of -- we`re going to shame them, we`re going to try to confront them. Maybe, we`ve got to take a different approach. One, there are in this case and in some of the other cases laws on the books that weren`t enforced properly or things like that where you could take action, the executive -- by executive order, you could take some actions just in keeping with the laws that are on the books perhaps. And then second, I kind of think we almost had -- as April said, a bipartisan agreement on the issue of, should those with mental illness be able to purchase weapons? It feels like that`s an area that -- let`s press on that and you know, see where there might be some overlapping agreement rather than just get it into confrontational again. O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Hillary Clinton said about it today in Iowa. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: We have got to do something about gun violence in America and I will take it on. There are many people who face it and know it but then turn away because it`s hard. It`s a very political, difficult issue in America. I feel just great heartache at what happened. And I want to reiterate how important it is we not let yet another terrible instance go by without trying to do something more to prevent this incredible killing that is stalking our country. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Jonathon Alter, we just heard Andy Parker say that -- he says, I know this is the news business, this is a big story, but next week it isn`t going to be a story anymore and everybody`s going to forget it. That`s what he feels tonight will happen about the story of his daughter`s murder today. ALTER: Well, I am sorry to say that he`s right. I mean that`s just the nature of the news business, that`s the nature of the short attention span of the American people. It`s up to the politicians and the people whose job it is to mobilize and pressure those politicians to keep the issue going in state legislatures and in Washington. I think Austan Goolsbee`s suggestion is a very interesting one for the White House to take another look at whether there`re some things that could be done by executive order to better enforce the laws that are on the books. And the rest of us have to be willing to develop arguments against people on the other side that we`re not doing. For instance, you always hear well, a law wouldn`t have stopped this guy, he would have gotten a gun any way. And that`s like saying all laws are futile. Just because, you know, people commit murder, does that mean we shouldn`t have laws against murder. Because people commit tax evasion, we shouldn`t have laws against tax evasion. So, that`s a nonsensical argument that you hear all the time. Just because a law wouldn`t have prevented this particular case doesn`t mean it might not prevent some other cases of gun violence. And you know, the people who are engaged in this debate just have to get more serious about confronting the NRA on each of its arguments. GOOLSBEE: You know, Lawrence, I would also highlight, we have had a background check environment structure in place for some time. And yes, there are loopholes in it. But I think it`s worth highlighting that there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of gun homicides in the country over that period that we`ve had that background check structure in. I think just highlighting that these things can work I think is also part of the -- part of the equation. O`DONNELL: Yes, and there`s never going to be a news story about the person who was denied access to a gun who was never able to pull this off. That story will never make it up to our attention. ALTER: And the states that have more gun safety laws do better in restricting gun violence than those that don`t. And the NRA lies and says the opposite. O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to have -- (CROSSTALK) ALTER: Says the laws don`t work -- O`DONNELL: We`re going to have to take a quick break in here. Coming up, we will be joined by the general manager of the "Virginia Television Station" whose reporter and camera operator were murdered on live TV this morning. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEFFREY MARKS, WDBJ GENERAL MANAGER: It is my very, very sad duty to report that we have determined through the help of the police and our employees that Alison and Adam died this morning shortly after 6:45 when the shots rang out. I cannot tell you how much they were loved, Alison and Adam by the WDBJ7 team. They both were in love and we will talk about that a little more with other members of the team here. And, our hearts are broken and our sympathies go to the entire staff here, but also the parents and families of Adam Ward and Alison Parker, who were just out doing their job today. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That was Jeffrey Marks who will join me next. He is the general manager for WDBJ TV. Speaking about the murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward that occurred on live television on his stations morning news broadcast at 6:45 A.M. The shooter reportedly sent a 23-page fax to ABC News two hours after the shooting with a list of grievances including how he was treated when he was a reporter at that station, himself. He also apparently posted his own video of the shooting on social media, which was quickly taken down by Twitter and Facebook. The New York Times said the shooting and the graphic images that resulted mark to horrific turn in the national intersection of video, violence and social media. The gunman has owned 56-second video showed him deliberately waiting until the journalists were on air before raising a handgun and firing at point blank range, ensuring that it would be seen live or recorded by thousands. Joining us now, Jeffrey Marks, the general manager of WDBJ TV in Roanoke, Virginia. Mr. Marks, first of all, I am very sorry for your loss today, your personal losses in this. I cannot imagine what this day has been like for you. And, I very much appreciate you staying with us here tonight. Could you tell us where you were at 6:45 A.M. and how this event came in to your life? MARKS: Actually, I was running an errand and I was very near the television station. So, right after the incident occurred my news director called me and said, "Did you see that? And, of course, I had not seen that. She told me what immediately had happened and I was here within five minutes. O`DONNELL: And, Mr. Marks, at the point where you are being called, they - - I assume in the control room they do not really know what happened, what the actual results were there on the ground? MARKS: Yes. I think they were not sure whether it was fireworks or something else. I think some of them knew instantly but did not want to imagine it. But they immediately lost touch with both Adam and Alison, could not reach them on their cell phones, so that was a very bad sign. O`DONNELL: And, after the camera went down, they heard in the control room, was it about eight shots were fired when the camera was not picking up anything? MARKS: I guess that is right. I did not count them. I watched the video once or twice, but it was such a horrifying scene, I did not stop to count the shots. O`DONNELL: And, what was it like on a personal level? I saw you go through an extraordinary day where on the air at WDBJ, you had to bring this to your community, your viewing community and share everything you were going through live because the community was going through it, too. What was that experience like? MARKS: Well, we were grieving while doing our jobs. We were trying to breathe while doing what journalists do. And, we have such a fine team here of people on the air and behind the scenes and every department of our building rallied, came through the newsroom and said what can we do? Our friends at the station down the street, offered to help us in any way they could. We heard from folks around the world and around the community. And, there are flowers everywhere here and signs at our entrance expressing people`s solidarity with us and their sense of community of loss. It was the worst day for all of us in terms of our careers. O`DONNELL: Tell us what you would like us to know and remember about Alison Parker and Adam Ward. MARKS: Well, first of all, they had both found love here. They were both above in love and those relationships were going strong. And, those of course -- there is no way to even imagine how awful the other parties feel. And, you saw one earlier, I believe in Chris who was speaking to another network. The sense of loss for everybody in our building was palpable. And, Alison was exuberant and fun and smiling and jumping at every opportunity she was given, whether it was to co-host a parade or work on a very intensive child abuse special we aired last week. Adam was with the life of the party. He was a cut up in Latin class at the university, I am told, and he was a cut up in our newsroom but he was also a serious journalist, who made instant friends with everybody he covered. I cannot imagine that if you put a thousand people in front of me for candidates for those jobs that I would not have picked out Alison and Adam. O`DONNELL: You have really brought them to life for us throughout the day with everything you have had to say about them. And, since we are in the same business, I think we here all feel like we know them because we know so many people like them, with that same kind of commitment and same joy about doing this kind of work. MARKS: Yes. O`DONNELL: And, in my experience, that depends almost entirely on the tone set by the boss. And, so, there is definitely a tribute to you here in how that place operates and how everything worked at your station today. MARKS: Well, let me also pay tribute to the senior management team, who worked with me to create an atmosphere in which these people can flourish. I am not in their in the newsroom every day slugging it out. Our news director, Kelly Zuber and team of fabulous news editors really try to bring out the best in everyone and let them be themselves. And, they certainly did that with Adam and with Alison and you saw the results in the performance we got on the air. O`DONNELL: Jeffrey Marks, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I am very sorry for your loss and I wish you all the best in trying to get through the coming days. Thank you very much. MARKS: Thank you, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Coming up, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton both talked about Joe Biden running for president today. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: All right, the rest of the show is going to feel much lighter after what we have just been through the last couple of segments. Today in Iowa, Hillary Clinton for the first time discussed the possibility of a Biden for president campaign. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me start by saying Vice President Biden is a friend of mine. He and I were colleagues in the senate. I worked with him as first lady. I worked with him, obviously, in President Obama`s first term. And, I have a great deal of admiration and affection for him. I just want him to reach whatever he thinks the right decision is, and he has to do that. And, it has to be a really, really hard one. And, I was at his son`s funeral. I mean I cannot even imagine the grief and the heart break. I mean Joe has had more terrible events than most people can even contemplate, losing his first wife, losing his first daughter, now losing his son. I think everybody should -- He has to do what he has to do, but I am just going to continue with my campaign. I am going to do what I believe I should be doing, and he will have to decide what he should be doing. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And, after a quick break, what Joe Biden had to say today about running for President. (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: NBC has confirmed that Vice President Joe Biden discussed the possibility of running for president on a conference call this afternoon. The vice president spoke with democratic national committee members about the Obama Administration`s nuclear deal with Iran. But according to a democratic source familiar with the call, the vice president also said this, "We are dealing at home with whether or not there is the emotional fuel at this time to run. And if I were to announce to run, I have to be able to commit to all of you that I would be able to give it my whole heart and my whole soul and right now both are pretty well banged up." editor in chief, Ezra Klein, writes in a new piece that a Joe Biden campaign would be a good thing, but it would be a good thing for Hillary Clinton. Ezra Klein writes, "An actual fight will give the press a democratic presidential campaign to cover rather than simply a frontrunner to investigate. And, an fight will sharpen Clinton`s political instincts." We are back with the panel here. Jonathon Alter, I am always intrigued by people who think, "It will be good for the candidate"-- ALTER: Yes. O`DONNELL: -- "if another strong candidate gets in there and campaigns against the candidate. I do not think any campaign has ever felt, "Boy, this would be -- the only thing that could make this campaign better is if we had a stronger candidate running against us. ALTER: I used to actually agree with Ezra that I thought the batting practice might be good for Hillary Clinton, but my Daily Beast colleague, Mike Tomasky, wrote a good column convincing me otherwise. Because when you think about it, they do not disagree on the issues. So, what would that mean for a Joe Biden campaign? He would have to get in and start attacking her integrity. It basically, say I got in to this race because Hillary Clinton is not trustworthy enough to be our nominee. That means a very angry, tough bitter campaign that would make Hillary versus Obama look like pinnacle. So, what else is he going to run on except for ethics. O`DONNELL: OK. April Ryan, two information about that. One is what we just saw Hillary Clinton do in talking about Joe Biden. I think it is one of her most touching moments of this campaign -- RYAN: Yes. O`DONNELL: It was one of her most human moments if not the most human moment. It was real what she was saying about the suffering he has gone through was heartfelt. And, then the model that Bernie Sanders has laid down here, which is not one negative word about Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders is not running against another democrat. And, to step in to this campaign at this stage with the table that has been set by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders who are not attacking each other, it would be hard to see how Joe Biden or any other democrat could get in here and start some kind of negative campaign. RYAN: Because of the closeness of some of the candidates with one another, I think they would have to stay above the fray and deal with the issues. Not necessarily personal attacks as of yet, and I say as of yet, right now. So -- but I think if Joe Biden were to jump in, it would make Hillary Clinton a strong candidate. It would fine tune her a little bit more than what she is because there would be competition. But, on another note, when it comes, when it comes to Joe Biden -- Lawrence, I will never forget, in December of last year, political had an event. It was a woman`s role even, and Joe Biden and Ashley Biden were the guests of honor or the speaker of the hour. I guess they were the speakers of the hour, I guess you would say. And, Ashley and Joe Biden talked about 201 6. And, Ashley, the daughter of Joe Biden said, you know, I want him to kind of have some downtime and I wantto work on some projects with my dad. And, he really took it to heart. And he is a real person, who lets his realness show. And, the lost of a son and someone that you are very close to is a very real situation. And, what he said today, I really firmly believe. In listening to that report that Kristin gave, you know, basically, I think he maybe letting us know that he might be leading more towards not running with that -- GOOLSBEE: Lawrence -- O`DONNELL: Austan Goolsbee, you know something here. Come on. You are on the inside -- (LAUGHING) (CROSSTALK) GOOLSBEE: And, I know the vice president pretty well. O`DONNELL: And, has the Biden campaign reached out to you for their advice yet? Has the Clinton campaign -- GOOLSBEE: No. I have not spoken with the vice president in any way. What I would say is this. First of all, we know Joe Biden. If you could wave a wand and became the president, he ran for president twice. He would like to be the president. That said, I find it extremely unlikely that there is going to be the kind of extended primary battle, like what we had in 2008. I think it is really, really unlikely. Hillary Clinton is a very formidable candidate. I think Joe Biden would only get in the race if he thought there was with a very good chance that he could get the nomination. And, I think that, that is sort of a cloud over his head at this point. Could he actually do it? I do not think if he did enter that he would attack Hillary Clinton or her character at all. I think he would be kind of taking a populous line. I think it would be chewing in to the support of Sanders or chewing in to the support of some other candidates, maybe on the left. But, I really do not think that he would enter unless he thought there was some way that he actually could get the nomination. ALTER: The problem for him is when you get in, your numbers usually go down. O`DONNELL: Yes. ALTER: Because voters want what they cannot have. And, so, the guys who are on the sidelines are, generally, higher than the ones -- you know, if they are very well known, than the ones who get in. So, you know, he could actually go down after he got in and got in to the scrum. The trap that he is in is I agree that, you know, he is not going to want to go out there and wail on Hillary Clinton, but what else does he have? He is not a populous. He is not a Bernie Sanders. He cannot really disagree with her on the issues. So, then why is he running? O`DONNELL: Can he run, April, as the kind of proper inheriter of Barack Obama? RYAN: Oh, yes, yes, he would be. He would be, I guess you would say the prince, Prince Biden 3.0 who could wind with up becoming -- well, I guess you would say king to a certain extent but could be president. So, he would have to be above the fray and keep it going even hilled. O`DONNELL: April Ryan -- ALTER: I think he would go after the banks. (LAUGHING) O`DONNELL: All right, that is going to be the last word on the campaign that might or might not happen. April Ryan, Austan Goolsbee and Jonathan Alter, thank you very much for joining us. Coming up, a very special edition of questions for Donald Trump starring some of your questions and a couple of very special guests who have their own questions for Trump. (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: And, tonight`s episode of "Questions for Donald Trump," where joined by Isabella Gutierrez and Mohamed Hassan. And, it says here on your cards, it says you are -- Isabella, an intern for "The Last Word with Lawrence O`Donnell." And, Mo, it says you are an intern for "The Last Word with Lawrence O`Donnell." Of course, you are the summer interns. MOHAMED HASSAN, MSNBC INTERN FOR "THE LAST WORD" PROGRAM: Yes. ISABELLA GUTIERREZ, MSNBC INTERN FOR "THE LAST WORD" PROGRAM: Yes. O`DONNELL: And, as the tradition goes here, as your service comes to a close you of course come on the show and tune things up. And, Mo, you are following the old intern tradition of wearing one of my ties. HASSAN: I am. O`DONNELL: Yes. It looks pretty good. HASSAN: Yes. O`DONNELL: And, by the way, that you have now, that is yours. You now own that tie. OK. So, you are not leaving here with nothing. HASSAN: Oh. O`DONNELL: Isabella, you have a question for Donald Trump. What is your question? GUTIERREZ: I do. My question is, you recently said that the U.S. economy should be decoupled from China`s. How would you deal with the $1.3 trillion of debt the U.S. owes China? Would you default on it? O`DONNELL: Such a good question. Decoupling is trickier than he seems to recognize. GUTIERREZ: Absolutely. O`DONNELL: Mo, your question for Donald Trump? HASSAN: Sure. Mr. Trump, if you are president and a member of your cabinet asks you a hard question are you going to have them removed from the White House. O`DONNELL: And, will it be that same guy that got Jorge Ramos out of the room last night. HASSAN: That is right. O`DONNELL: That is going to be his job. You know, we keep getting great questions online. And, Michael Barkley, I read this question from him last night. And, I said this question in the office, I think two days ago, word for word almost. Here is what Michael Barkley read my mind, and here is his question for Trump. "Dear Mr. Trump, why do you say, `excuse me,` when you really mean, `Shut up, I am interrupting now.` He goes excuse me like every other paragraph begins with excuse me and then he just kind of keeps pushing through. GUTIERREZ: Right. O`DONNELL: Now, this is going to be -- will this be your first presidential election that you vote in? HASSAN: No. GUTIERREZ: My second. O`DONNELL: Second. HASSAN: Second as well. O`DONNELL: Wait, how old are you? HASSAN: 20. O`DONNELL: Oh, OK. No, wait a minute. How can you be 20, voting in your second presidential election. It is your second election -- HASSAN: Yes. O`DONNEL: -- But it will be your first presidential election, right? HASSAN: Yes. O`DONNELL: That you are voting into. GUTIERREZ: It is my second. I am 21. O`DONNELL: OK. All right. You have been at this for a while. GUTIERREZ: I have. O`DONNELL: Here is another one from Michael Moskowitz. He says to trump, "Say I am undocumented. Do I get a letter, a call, a knock on the door, a hearing, 30 days, 10 days?" And, Mo, this is one of the things that he is not talking about is how are you physically going to go and get these people, 11 million, you are going to drag out of here. HASSAN: Well, you know he is a very blunt talker and I just think, you know, whatever Trump says will go. And, we are not really hearing much, but you know we are supposed to take his word for it. So -- O`DONNELL: Yes. Isabella, you get to witness another historic election. What is now the Trump election. GUTIERREZ: The Trump election, it certainly is and I totally agree with Mo. I mean he just, you know, makes all of these brash statements about the economy, related to my question or immigration, and Mr. Trump where are the number? O`DONNELL: We just went 28 seconds overtime for you, guys. Isabella and Mo get tonight`s last word. Thank you very much for joining us. Chris Hayes is up next up. END